Menstrual products are a world apart from what was available even only twenty years ago. But it can be difficult to determine which product is right for you. Your decision may be influenced by lifestyle, physical activity, comfort, fit, cost, and many other factors.
That’s why we’re publishing a series of menstrual product reviews, written by the staff here at Clue (and a few of our loved ones) to show you how we used these products, and how they worked for us. Check out the reviews here.
Full disclosure—many of these products were sent to us free of charge, for the purpose of reviews. These are the unbiased opinions of the folks who used the products.
“Lunapads get a big thumbs up from me.”
My flow is: four days (heavy, heavy, medium, light)
I’m looking for: comfort, efficiency, and something gender-neutral or funny
It was the first time I used washable pads, and this was a pleasant experience. I don’t usually go for pads because of the spongy feeling, and the need to have a second [menstrual product] option after using one. Also, I remember various frustrating moments with adhesive parts of single-use pads. But Lunapads come with clear and complete instructions. Mine was very easy to install, and extremely comfortable. The fabric is very soft, like a velvet kind of diaper, which was also waterproof.
I used them on the second day of my period, which is quite heavy. After half a day, the pad was full, and it was easy to fold for transport. No blood leaked in my panties, or in my bag. The design I was given is sober, but there is a wide selection of patterns on the website. They also offer a diverse selection based off of your desired shape and absorbency, as well as inserts to adapt pads for every flow. The brand also invests in programs that support my shared ethical and social values, so Lunapads get a big thumbs up from me.
—Salomé is the lucky partner of someone who works at Clue
“I bled through the pad, through my underwear, and right through my new jeans, leaving a stain on the crotch.”
My flow is: apocalyptic heavy the first couple days, then pretty average
I’m looking for: something that can contain all the blood with convenience, comfort and style
I wanted to try reusable pads as a stand-alone solution for days when my flow is heavier. Period underwear is great, but I find it works best for light flow days or as a backup for tampons or a cup. I like the idea of reusable pads compared to disposables, because the earth is burning up, so every little bit helps.
The Lunapad attaches by wrapping around your underwear gusset, and it’s fixed in place with one button. One issue that I had is that the pad moved around a bit. After years of using disposable pads with adhesive, I wasn’t used to this.
I tested the regular Lunapads one day at work, and I’m sad to say that it didn’t work out so well for me. I bled through the pad, through my underwear, and right through my new jeans, leaving a stain on the crotch. Even though I work at an extremely period-friendly company, I still felt somewhat embarrassed. I was expecting the blood would spread out, and absorb throughout the pad, but in my case this did not happen—the blood just stayed in one spot and the rest of the pad was dry.
I tried the impressively massive overnight Lunapad the next night. My period somehow defies gravity and can still be quite heavy at night, so I was curious to see how the Lunapad would handle it. Again, I found that my blood all landed on one part of the pad, which was soaked, while other parts of the pad were still completely dry. At least this time around I didn’t bleed through.
Lunapads didn’t live up to my high hopes, but I will keep trying reusable pads and hopefully I’ll find something that suits me better.
—Jen, Writer at Clue
“The Lunapads underwear felt soft, comfortable, and looked cute.”
My flow is: medium
I’m looking for: reliability, convenience, comfort and an environmentally-friendly option
I chose the Maia bikini Lunapad undies, because I liked the idea of reducing the amount of waste from disposable pads. I wore the panties on their own on my lighter days, and as a backup to a menstrual cup on my heavier days. The undies also come with an additional slip pad, which is handy for those who have heavier days. The undies leaked on the sides, but that didn’t bother me because the same thing happens with disposable pads. In terms of logistics, you do need to plan in advance to wear them, because you don’t want to be out and about with no backup plan if the undies become full!
The Lunapads underwear felt soft, comfortable, and looked cute. I think they’re a convenient option, because they only require a rinse before being tossed in with the next laundry load. I no longer need to keep buying disposable pads, because now I can just reach into my drawer for my reusable undies.
They might seem a bit pricey at first, but I think they pay for themselves after a few cycles since you are no longer buying pads. They’re much better for the environment, and I’ll definitely keep using them.
“I don’t feel comfortable enough to wear them as my only protection during my period, especially during heavy days.”
__My flow is: __up to five or six days in length, with one day of spotting, one light day, two heavy days, and one day light
I’m looking for: a safe product that’s easy to use while on the run, at the gym, and at night.
I tried Lunapads in two different lengths. I used a shorter one during the day, and the longer version during the night. I had two colors—purple and black. I really like that the pads are made of organic cotton, which ensures comfort, and no irritation for the skin (at least for me).
However, quickly after using them for the first time I noticed that both pads moved around way too much. No matter the type of underwear I tried them with, the pads kept moving. Because I go to the gym a lot and move around while sleeping, I didn’t have the courage to try them during any other “activities”. I didn’t find the pads to be very absorbent. Unless you have a very light flow I would not recommend using them. And even with the light flow, the moving and turning of the pad could cause some nasty surprises.
I might use them again for a backup during the night, but I don’t feel comfortable enough to wear them as my only protection during my period, especially during heavy days.
—Sarah, Executive Assistant
“I will use my pad again, but only for daily activities.”
My flow is: light-to-moderate (thanks to the pill)
I’m looking for: an environmentally friendly solution that will allow me to not worry about my period
Given that I am on a quest to find an environmentally-friendly product, I was very excited to try Lunapads.
I tried the purple Performa Super Pad. At first glance they didn’t seem absorbent, because the top layer is made from cotton; but after trying them on my second day of the period, I can safely say that they hold as much blood as a nightly disposable pad. If you are uncertain about which level of absorption works best for you, their website is very helpful. You can take their “Matchmaker Quiz” which will give you a recommendation of what to buy based off of your preferences and absorption needs.
The only drawback I found was that the pads only have one clasp in the middle, so they moved around a bit while I was sleeping at night. I will use my pad again, but only for daily activities.
—Kate, Senior iOS Engineer
“I think they are worth trying for people who prefer pads to insertable products.”
My flow is: regular
I’m looking for: something that I don’t have to change often, and that’s also good for my yoga practice
It was my first time using washable pads. I’m amazed by the retro-vintage appeal of these kinds of product. I tried the performa liner, which comes in a beautiful purple pattern, and the performa super pad, which I tried in black. I’ve been wanting to try an eco-friendly way of dealing with my period that I can alternate with my cup.
I learned that washable pads are not really my thing. I still think they are a great alternative to disposable pads, but after years of using menstrual cups it was very difficult for me to go back to the discomfort of having something attached to my panties for six days every month.
I also usually feel quite unsexy during my period, and the washable pads did not help. I don’t think I will use them again, but I think they are worth trying for people who prefer pads to insertable products. I do like that Lunapads’ website is accessible and inclusive!
—Sil, Support Agent
“The wicking caused blood to smear on my thighs sometimes when I went to the bathroom.”
My flow is: very light and irregular because of my hormonal IUD
I’m looking for: a convenient, environmentally-sustainable way to manage my period on the days on the few days I get one
I didn’t find the materials of the Performa Lunapads absorbent enough for my period. Unlike their traditional pads, which are made of 100% cotton, the Performa line is made of a “dry-wicking cotton,” which is made of regular cotton, a polyurethane laminate, and jersey. This mix was too wicking for me,and did not provide enough absorption. To be fair, the Performa Mini pad I tried is designed for really light flows. __It never got on my underwear and I never felt sticky while I was wearing it, but the wicking caused blood to smear on my thighs sometimes when I went to the bathroom. __
On the plus side, I found the liners beautiful and they washed very clean, which not all reusable pads do. They are way more aesthetically pleasing than either disposable pads or most reusable pads.
I also really appreciated that the Performa series is designed to capture both blood and urine, which is a huge win for all the women suffering from urinary incontinence (it’s common!) I really applaud Lunapads for being one of the few brands innovating in this high-need space.
Download Clue to track your period.